The science popularizar Esther Sánchez-García wins the “TU MINUTO DE CIENCIA (YOUR MINUTE OF SCIENCE)” prize for her video “Autumn: red in America, and yellow in Europe”


The prize is an expenses-aid place at the “100XCIENCIA. Communicating Frontier Science” forum which will be held on La Palma

On Wednesday, October 7th, the Circo de Marte Theatre will host an open session where the aim is to give answers to the questions “How does our brain take its decisions” and “How is diabetes caused?”

The science popularizar Esther Sánchez-García is the winner of the 100XCIENCIA “TU MINUTO DE CIENCIA” competition with the video “Autumns: red in America, yellow in Europe”. As the winner Esther, who is the author of the outreach blog has been awarded a place to attend the most important forum on Science Communication to be held in Spain, where she will be able to compare her experiences with consolidated journalists and science communicators and with the representatives of the 20 research centres with the Severo Ochoa Award of excellence. The winner will attend the event with all expenses paid by the Organization of 100xCIENCIA.

The online contest “Your minute of science” was launched to choose the best piece of scientific communication/outreach of scientific, to be brief, original and attractive for the public. The works were presented through the "100xCIENCIA" Facebook page, and they had to be original, in audiovisual format and must communicate in a minute a concept, advance or benefit of science.

The forum “100XCIENCIA. Comunicating frontier science”  will be held on La Palma from 7th to 9th October, with the presence (as well as those of the representatives of he Severo Ochoa centres) of journalist from media such as The New York Times, El País, El Mundo and the SINC agency, among others.

The award-winning video will be published on the website of “100xCIENCIA” and it will also be circulated via the social networks. In addition the prize will be formally awarded during the programme of activities of “100Xciencia” at which time the winning video will be shown.

The author Esther Sánchez García said that making the video was “a challenge from which I have learned a lot”. Popularizing science is her passion because she is a specialist in the environment. “ I think” she comments “that this gives me a vision of science as a whole which is very useful for the task of making scientific knowledge available to the general public. And I hope that as people get to know and understand science better, more and more people will feel the need to protect research and to demand high quality science”.

To find the documentation and to produce the work which has won her the prize, she used internet, but not “any old page”. It is of key importance to find the same information several times using different routes, and above all, sources which do not have a (political or commercial) interest in the material. For this video it was easy because there are few vested interests in the subject matter”.

As for the “100xCIENCIA” forum, the prize-winner explains that she hopes to “learn a lot, be better at outreach when the meeting is over, and to put into practice the knowledge gained on my blog As well as that, my idea is to get to know many people, and you never know, from this meeting I may find collaborations, and new ideas. I am really open to this”.

Lectures in the Circo de Marte Theatre

The programme of the forum will be augmented by a series of outsider activities for the general public. Among these will be the lectures “Understanding Diabetes” given by Joan J. Guinovart, Director of the Biomedical Research Institute of Barcelona, and “ Taking decisions “ by Luis Martínez Otero, researcher at the Institute of Neurosciences. These lectures, which will be followed by a debate, will take place at the Circo de Marte theatre in Santa Cruz de La Palma next Wednesday from 19.00 to 20.30.

In his lecture, Guinovart will explain that “Human beings are machines which use two fuels, sugar and fats. Insulin is a hormone which regulates how they are used at any moment, in order to optimize their use for our whole body. A lack of insulin, or a failure to obey its orders by our tissues causes diabetes, which entails a rise in blood sugar and also a change in our use of fats. In this lecture we will make a simple presentation of the basics of this illness in order to help understand the causes of its complications”.

The lecture by Martínez Otero will try to answer the question “How we take decisions in a changing environment? Or the more difficult question “How can we tell if something is right or wrong?” The researcher notes that “Our recent results show that in both the visual and the moral areas our decision making uses the same mechanisms of gain control and relative rather than absolute parameters. Both types of processes are extremely open to influence by their surroundings, and they use similar algorithms of divisive normalization, an adaptable form of gain control which can be used as a common mechanism for both sensory and cognitive processes in the brain. These algorithms could be the basis of a new generation of robots and automata which could take decisions as do human beings in complex scenarios.

The “100XCIENCIA” forum is being organized by the 20 Severo Ochoa centres of excellence so far named by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. (MINECO), with the patronage of the Cabildo of La Palma and of the Santander Bank, and with the collaboration of the City Council of Santa Cruz de La Palma and of Telefónica. This is the first coordinated effort in communication by these research centres, and aims at creating an area of future collaboration to optimize their work in communication and outreach.


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100xCIENCIA Communicating Frontier Science. La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain), October 2015
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